Blindfold challenge won’t be a walk in the park for Lowestoft man

A stroll along on a seafront promenade is a popular pastime, but for one Lowestoft man a gentle walk will become a sensory challenge.

Next weekend Simon Waters will walk 10 miles along Lowestoft seafront – blindfolded. The 41-year-old father-of-four will be raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

'I am totally amazed at just how loyal, clever and vital these dogs are and as the charity solely relies on the generosity of public donations, I wanted to do my bit to help,' said Mr Waters, who last year completed a 45-mile sponsored walk from Coltishall to Lowestoft in aid of Help for Heroes and Cot Death research in memory of his baby son Kieran who died in 1996.

For the past few weeks he has been training with help from his wife Sharon. He has been walking blindfolded to get used to the sensation of relying on his other senses.

'It's the first few steps that are difficult,' said Mr Waters, who works at Beacon Bingo Club in Lowestoft.

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'You're scared of bumping into things and falling over. Then it gets better and, with someone guiding me, it should be fine. I feel prepared and ready. Compared to 45 miles, 10 miles is going to be like a walk in the park – I hope!'

Last year, while training for the Coltishall to Lowestoft walk, Mr Waters met a Lowestoft man who uses a guide dog.

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'He told me how much it changed his life, but also how much it costs,' said Mr Waters.

'I was emotionally quite taken back by it all. My granddad had a few problems with his sight, but he never had a guide dog. I decided last year that I would do something for them.'

Mr Waters, who will be supported on the walk by a co-worker as well as his family, started fund-raising for the Guide Dogs for the Blind back in January. He has already collected �5,500 with most of the money being raised through charity draws at the bingo hall in Battery Green Road.

• The walk will take place on Sunday, August 14, starting from East Point Pavilion at about 9am.

• To sponsor Mr Waters telphone 01502 567383.

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